Press Releases | General Education

ACTA Welcomes Dr. Kenneth Kolson as VP of Policy and Programs

July 19, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni announced on Wednesday, July 19, that Dr. Kenneth Kolson will become ACTA’s new vice president of policy and programs. Dr. Kolson comes to ACTA with a keen understanding of the challenges facing higher education.

“Ken’s knowledge and experience are invaluable,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “I was privileged to work with Ken at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and I’m delighted he has agreed to employ his many talents toward improving higher education. With his dedication to public service and understanding of academe, ACTA will continue to lead colleges in the right direction.”

He most recently worked for the Ohio State University as the Washington, DC, director of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs after an impressive career in civil service. He was deputy director of research at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1985 to 2007 and was detailed as a foreign-affairs officer in the U.S. Department of State for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 2007.

Dr. Kolson’s scholarship spans a wide array of areas, including urban planning, American history, and political science. After receiving his undergraduate degree in political science from Allegheny College, he earned his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Kentucky. He served for 15 years on the faculty of Hiram College and as a lecturer in the University Honors Program from 1991 to 1999 at the University of Maryland. He continued to teach urban planning in Finland in 2006 and Lithuania in 2014 as a Fulbright Scholar.

Among Dr. Kolson’s honors are a John Adams Fellowship at the University of London and an Eccles Fellowship at the British Library. He was also named a fellow in 1992 by the Council of Excellence in Government. During the 1970s and ’80s, Dr. Kolson received grants to research curriculum development from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Association of American Colleges, and the Ohio Program in the Humanities.

Dr. Kolson’s published works include Big Plans: The Allure and Folly of Urban Design, which was published in 2001 by Johns Hopkins University Press and republished in Chinese translation in 2007. He has also published numerous other reviews and essays in political science.

“I’ve been aware of ACTA for a long time,” said Dr. Kolson. “ACTA has proven over time that it has a crucial mission, and I’m excited to be working in its next chapter.”

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Christine Ravold
Communications Officer


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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